Motor Trend and the Toyota Accelerator Problem

“So is it a defect? Not exactly, but it is a sign of a poorly engineered product, IMO.”

It’s always easy after the problems are discovered to say that it should have been engineered out beforehand. Toyota discovered the problem through customer problems and decided to enhance the system by adding the brake override. I imagine that they demanded their supplier provide evidence that the pedal assembly would provide flawless service through an accelerated life test. Apparently that test did not show the same problems that some high mileage Toyotas did. The brake override is a reaction to an unanticipated problem. To me, it is more public relations than good engineering. It is like saying: “we fixed the problem and then gave you another way to avoid it if you aren’t comfortable with the real fix”.

Jtsanders - the problem with your statement is that you are assuming that they looked at the part in question and decided that they could design it to be near impossible to fail. They used the same basic design for throttle position sensors used by most major automakers, and if you look even at this board, you’ll see that they fail relatively often. Are you telling me that Toyota looked at that problem and then arrogantly declared that while other companies have throttle position sensors fail, theirs (with the same design) would never fail? If so, then that is the most absurdly arrogant company I’ve heard of.

The excess friction might be seen as unanticipated - but not failure of the sensor - and both would require a similar remedy - something to override the gas input.

I see two options here:

  1. Toyota is ridiculously arrogant
  2. Toyota failed to engineer their products well.

I’m leaning towards 2,